May 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
When I see my daughters small shoes, they just stare right back at me. I can imagine her little feet slipping into each one. See her sweet face asking for my help after she’s already put them on once or twice and claimed her autonomy.
She wants to make sure that mama is still there. That mama loves her. That mama hasn’t forgotten about her even though her little brother Edric has stepped into her once single limelight.
I remind her every so often of the time when it was “just us.” I say,
“Remember when it was just me, you, and papa? We would go to the park together and run around. Read books. Sing songs. Visit friends. Drive in the car. We had a great two years together.”
I pause for a moment and watch the smile on her face grow bigger as she remembers and then continue,
“And now we have Edric. He’s a part of our three. He has made it four. And we are going to have many more fun memories together.”
I think my lovely believes me. She has always called her brother “my baby” and it’s only become more tough since we moved. I can’t even imagine what leaving one of the first places you’re really consciously aware of feels like.
Although I of all people know material possessions can’t make you happy, I bought her new shoes on Sunday. Her old shoes were falling apart and not looking very much like a princess as she would hope.
I took her to the store–three, in fact–to find the perfect pair. A pair that was sparkly and comfy and mama could afford. Those little shoes are sitting by the end of her bed. And I’m thinking about her toes peaking out of the front. Her smile as she puts them on and zips up the back.
Those small shoes. They’re just staring back at me.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful moms out there…that means you!!
May 8, 2012 § 3 Comments
I used to consider myself a minimalist. A few weeks ago when we were living in Pasadena still, I began to realize how much I really had. So much that I didn’t feel like moving it for the fourteenth time in five years. Who wouldn’t?
In March, a pen found its way into the washer and ruined many of my favorite clothing items. I tried a couple techniques to get the black splotches out, but even then they just turned to brown. I ended up tossing out what was a lost cause and making use of the other t-shirts, tanks, and pants that I already had.
Even after what I threw out, I still had more than most.
“This is kind of depressing,” I thought to myself, “I still didn’t lose that much considering and I’m okay. I am not a minimalist.”
In that moment, it hit me that I still wasn’t living how I thought was best in my own head. Best in the sense that I know I do well with less. With as little as possible. My mind gets too cluttered with more and my focus turns to stuff rather than what’s important.
Before I was with Trever–although we had already met and hung out before–I went on a trip with my dad to Vegas. It was February 2006, a cold and blistery winter in the tacky city. My dad asked me where I was going with my life and I told him,
“I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t want a lot. I want to live somewhere that I don’t have to drive and fit my life into two boxes.”
It would only be a little over a month until I found myself doing just that. I was moving to Perth, Australia, with a backpack–a backpack that recently got moldy and, not gonna lie, I was sad–to a place with glorious public transportation and a melting pot of beautiful people.
Fast forward over five years and here I am married with two adorable children and a whole lot more stuff. After our whole mold mishap (see parts one, two, and three), I told myself enough was enough. We had to take two truckloads of our belongings piled three feet high to the city dump.
Besides that, we packed up two garbage bags with clothes and only kept necessities. Each day since we have moved in, I’ve been trying to organize and put stuff in the goodwill pile. A box of unused dishes, craft and office supplies that just sit there, stuffed animals that are keepsakes that mean nothing to me.
Most of my clothes were moldy, so I’ve just repurchased or been given what I need. I told my friend Megan in April that I wanted to memorize what I had. Self-fulfilling prophesy. Encouraged by Miss Minimalist (aka Rachel) to have 100 possessions, here’s what’s in my drawers:
1 pair of shorts
3 night time shorts
2 pairs of sweats
6 pairs of socks
1 sports bra
2 swimping suits (yes, swimping)
3 pairs of shoes (because the other pairs got yucky, boo!)
When I write out that list I still feel like I have a lot. I can fit most of it into two sock drawers. I’ve got issues. Haha. I’m addicted to the feeling of having less and being in control with what I do have. Just enough.
Thank you to all of those who helped us move, have us clothing, food, and fulfilled other needs. And, of course, to those who provided moral support. We love and appreciate you all.